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Mice Asia Net : October 2008
tradeshows battle of the exhibitions story By brad foster The baTTle lines have been drawn in the exhibition sector, with a new entrant already punching above its weight. predominantly marketed as a tourism event, it will have a MICE component with many exhibitors involved in both sectors. The fact that ITB Asia is the new offering from the organisers of the mega ITB tradeshow in Berlin must be a concern for the company behind IT&CMA (TTG). ITB Berlin is an event without peer. It attracts more than 180,000 visitors, among these 108,000 trade visitors, and more than 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries, giving it the right to lay claim to being the world’s leading business to business platform of all tourism exhibitions globally. And Asian operators are sitting up and taking notice of their local ITB, with exhibition space sold out just over three months before the show was scheduled to start. Exhibitors from 42 countries have booked more than 500 units of booth space in Halls 601-603 at Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre which is a great response, according to the general manager of Messe Berlin (Singapore), Whey Whey Ng. “Many exhibitors say they have booked space for two main reasons: the ITB brand reputation and their desire to attract visitors from Asia, the largest and fastest growing market in the world,” Ms Ng said. Exhibitors from every sector of the industry, including destinations, airlines and airports, hotels and resorts, theme parks and attractions, inbound tour operators, inbound DMCs, cruise lines, spas, venues, T 30 miceAsia.net his year’s IT&CMA in Bangkok (October 7-9) will be the sixteenth year of the exhibition. But just a few short weeks later ITB Asia will be in full swing in Singapore. And, while other meeting facilities and travel technology companies, have all booked floor space. Of all ITB Asia exhibitors this year, 39 per cent come from the accommodation sector, 27 per cent are either tour operators or travel agencies, 16 per cent are NTOs, and 10 per cent are travel technology firms, MICE or corporate travel representatives. The remaining eight per cent comprise airlines, cruise lines, railways, spa operators, car rentals, associations, media representatives, or information service providers. That 10 per cent of MICE operators at ITB Asia is what the IT&CMA organisers will be focusing on. Their tradeshow, while not as large in terms of exhibition booths, has 100 per cent focus on the MICE segment, and attracts MICE buyers – not travel buyers. As if to emphasise this fact, IT&CMA has been working hard to expand its hosted buyer reach. This year will see an increase in the number of MICE and corporate travel buyers from Australia, China, Hong Kong, United Kingdom and USA, as a result of strategic marketing and partnerships with industry partners. Meantime, in terms of exhibitors, Thailand has expanded its exhibition space by 30 per cent, while the Macau pavilion has significantly increased its floor space to 252 square metres. At ITB Asia, many exhibitors will be participating in their first tradeshow exposure in Asia. New exhibitors from outside the region include NTOs from Brazil, Peru, Tanzania, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Oman and Qatar. The Slovak Tourist Board is continuing its successful partnership with Hungary, Poland and the Czech ABOVE: Gulf Incentive Business Travel and Meetings Exhibition.